Power/Performance Bits: March 1

Low power Wi-Fi Computer scientists and electrical engineers from the University of Washington came up with a way to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods and which consumes 1,000 times less power than existing energy-efficient wireless communication platforms such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee. The system, Passive Wi-Fi, uses backscatte... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 26

New switchable material Two MIT researchers developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its new configuration until switched back by another voltage. The discovery could pave the way for a new kind of nonvolatile memory. The findings involve the thin-... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 12

Incandescent bulbs might not be dead yet Can incandescent bulbs be as efficient – or even more so – than LEDs? More than 95 percent of the energy that goes into incandescents is wasted, most of it as heat, so researchers at MIT and Purdue University struck out to see if that could be changed. A conventional heated metal filament, with all its attendant losses, served as the basis. But... » read more

Solar State Of Mind

The dog days of summer seem an appropriate time to ponder all things solar while trying to stay cool. To this end, it’s rather encouraging to note more states are embracing solar as part of their energy mix and even the White House takes advantage of it. I was curious to know if there was a map of solar installations in the U.S., and sure enough, I found an interactive one on the website for ... » read more